The cues are all around you. Kids are back in school. The calendar begins its string of months ending in “...ber” as if to subliminally prepare your skin for the shock of seasonal cold ahead.
All of these cues signal that you’re in the backstretch of the fundraising year when the marathon pace picks up and you gather yourself for the final push. You can vaguely see the finish line ahead, Father Time and Baby New Year holding each side of the tape. And the strides in between here and there are the remaining opportunities you have to convince those who donated last year to donate this year.
Excellent donor retention is an essential element of successful fundraising. But how do you keep donors donating?
Consider us your friendly marathon spectators handing out orange slices and energy bars on the side of the road. The following eight ideas are quick nutrition for the final stretch, all focused on how you can keep givers giving for dynamite donor retention:
1. Set your donor retention goal if you haven’t already
How will you know you’re amazing if you don’t know when you’ll cross the awesomeness-line?
2. Prioritize your returning donors based on their lifetime value
This will help you determine who will receive more personal outreach from your team.
3. Tell your past donors what their gift has done
Have they had impact on your mission or in someone’s life? Tell them! It doesn’t have to be 20 page annual report. One heartfelt story will keep them coming back to you.
4. Send a thank you note, card, or email
Give yourself a little breathing room to make sure all your donors have been thanked before you ask them to give again! Also, guess what? Thanksgiving is a great time to show gratefulness. You get extra points if you can include a picture of your program beneficiaries saying thank you.
5. Plan your ask amount
Don’t turn your donor’s off by asking for too much or too little. You should know a little something about your returning donors - show them that you know where they are coming from with the right ask amount.
6. Divide up the donor retention tasks
As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Leverage your staff strategically by dividing up tasks or figure out what staff/board/volunteer resources you’ll need to make sure all your donors feel special and loved. You are not a silo. This is big work, and your team should be onboard in helping see these goals to fruition.
7. Display your donor retention metrics in real-time where your entire team can see them
Keeping track will help you be nimble and make decisions quickly. You’ll know if you need to make adjustments or changes to your plan if you are tracking along the way.
8. Celebrate incremental success
Stave off burnout by focusing on the positives and the amazing things you and your fundraising team are making happen. You are a rainmaker! Make sure to take the time to dance in the rain!
Hungry for more? Fuel up with this 45-minute free webinar, Achieve Dynamite Donor Retention with the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack.
This post originally appeared on www.soapboxengage.com. Republished with permission.